Someone probably told you that there are bugs in peanut butter and now you can’t stop thinking about it. You’re wondering if you’ve been eating bugs this whole time and if so, how many? Are there really bug parts in peanut butter?
Well, will answer this shocking question in detail, so keep on reading to find out?
So, Does Peanut Butter Have Bugs In It?
I was shocked myself when I found out that the answer is yes… but before you start panicking, let me explain.
The first thing you need to know is that peanuts are grown in fields, just like any other crop. And, as with any other crop, pests can be a problem.
Despite farmers using different methods to control pests, like crop rotation and insecticide sprays, some bugs will still end up in the peanuts once they are harvested.
Peanuts are cleaned after they are harvested, but the cleaning process can’t remove all of the bugs.
In fact, the FDA has a “Food Defect Levels Handbook” that sets the maximum number of insects and other plant defects that are allowed in food products.
As for peanut butter, the FDA allows a “maximum of 30 or more insect fragments per 100 grams”. 100 grams is about 3.5 ounces, or about ¼ cup.
The typical serving size of peanut butter is two tablespoons, or one ounce.
So, if you do the math, that means that there is an average of 7.5 insect fragments per serving of peanut butter.
Now, you might be thinking that this is gross and that you don’t want to eat bugs, but the FDA has stated in their Food Defect Levels Handbook that “it is economically impractical to grow, harvest, or process raw products that are totally free of non-hazardous, naturally occurring, unavoidable defects.”
So, yes you are probably eating bug parts when you eat peanut butter, but don’t worry, the FDA has determined that this amount is not harmful and is actually considered safe to eat.
Why It Isn’t That Big of a Deal To Eat Peanut Butter with Bugs in It
Ok, so like the people above on Twitter, you are either shocked or disgusted.
But, before you start to feel squeamish about eating PB&J sandwiches, you should know that bugs and a bunch of other “gross things” are actually a very common ingredient in many foods that we eat.
For example, have you ever had a piece of chocolate, drank coffee or ate popcorn, then you’ve probably things such as insect parts, rodent hair, mold and poop.
The FDA allows for all kind of “defects” in our food, as long as they are considered safe and not harmful to eat.
In fact, the FDA has a whole list of “food defects that present no public health hazard”
Here are some of the other disgusting things that are allowed in our food:
- 3% of canned mushrooms can have maggots
- 10% of frozen broccoli can have insects
- 2% of frozen strawberries are allowed to have mold
There is a saying that “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” In this case, it is actually true. You have been eating a variety of foods that contain bugs and other gross things all your life and you haven’t gotten sick from it.
So, don’t worry enjoy your peanut butter and keep in mind that you are actually eating a lot of other gross things when you eat other foods as well.
Wrapping it up
So, there you have it! The next time someone asks you if there are bugs in peanut butter, you can confidently say yes… but don’t worry, the FDA has deemed it safe to eat.
You’ve been eating bugs in your food all along and you didn’t even know it! So, go ahead and enjoy that PB&J sandwich with a little extra protein. 😉